Website for Indian & Asian Ingredients-Padmas cookbook
Hello all, hoping there is someone that can give me a good site to purchase some slightly exotic Indian and Asian ingredients. I recieved Padma's newish cookbook as a Christmas gift (fam member that knew I love TC). The recipes actually sound pretty interesting and tasty but I recently moved from LA (land of exotic ingredients) to Naples, FL (land of bland, boring ingredients). I have no access to Indian or Asian food and desperatly need a reference for a great website to order from.
Also wondering if anyone has used her cookbook yet, any editing they would recommend to particular recipes, or any recipes that stood out.
I too have never gone wrong with Kalustyan's, and delight in spending hours browsing their shop - but that said, their prices are rather steep so I save it for things I can't find elsewhere. In particular I would recommend their house-made spice blends and chutneys. I love their garam masala (best of all), and their panch phoron.
For other spices I would recommend Penzey's mail order (www.penzeys.com) - it has a good selection of spices for Indian cooking, and the freshness and quality are impeccable. For some reason their turmeric is better than anyone's. The Vietnamese cinnamon is fabulous for savoury dishes. Their green cardamom is extra fragrant, and they even have smoky black cardamom and black onion-y kalonji seeds. They have my second favourite garam masala (quite different to Kalustyan's), and a splurge-worthy curry powder with saffron (unbelievable with shrimp and fish).
You'd be surprised how many Indian vegetables and legumes you can find in a Chinese or Vietnamese grocery - look for gourds and squashes, greens, and split mung dal. So if you see an Asian market around, give it a try. And the Mexican places should have mangoes, plantains, limes, chillies, coconut and coriander leaves.
I wish you the joy of the hunt through the wilderness...
i'll work on your mail order request, but in the meantime, go up to fort myers to the indian store there -- just after intersection of boy scout drive and cleveland ave./41, on the west side of 41 (left as you head north) on the service road (which they've named "bank street" (but i wouldn't look for a street sign with that -- just look for the intersection of boy scout and cleveland -- across from page field, where fowler street comes into cleveland).
if you pass sam's club plaza, you've gone too far north. but you may need to go to that light there to turn into the plaza to get to the store -- like a u-turn. it's a meander around to the store if you turn on boy scout -- so don't turn left there.
5240, Bank Sreet, Fort Myers, FL 33907 (another directory had it as 5228)
online groceries: http://www.indianblend.com/ (cannot vouch, never used)
this may be useful regarding online spices:
i'm sure other hounds will help!
btw, florida's fruits are not bland and boring....you'll also enjoy lots of interesting veggies, too -- esp. with increasing mexican/salvadoran influence. you'll be happy with ingredients you can find if you nose around!
By no means would I insult Florida. I am a true FL girl, forever loyal to the East coast, lol. It is just the access and availability to many cuisines is not nearly as vast here in Naples as say, Miami, Tampa, and especially LA (where I spent the previous 3 months).
Thanks to all for the advice, plan to head to Fort Myers tomorrow to stock my pantry for an Indian feast. Anything else it looks like Kalustyans is the best site for me.
beach bum i DO understand, being a FL native, and traveling there lots from DC to visit family. For example, i can't find a thai in fort myers that uses the FRESH wide rice noodles to make pad kee mao.
I was so happy to discover that Indian shop, and I hope it works out. Their little uttapam pre-mixes aren't bad for a quick fix, fyi.
FWIW, while you are up there in fort myers, there is an Asian market on Boy Scout, right near that Indian Bazaar place. (pretty sure its on Boy Scout....)